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Cheese steaks teach valuable life lessons

(01/24/11 5:00am)

One misconception I have fallen prey to is the idea that the meat within the Philadelphia cheese steak comes from any special part of the cow. According to Wikipedia, the first cheese steak contained "chopped steak" — chopped steak is made from ground beef, exactly what hamburgers are made from. It is no coincidence that many restaurants begin cooking cheese steak by taking a thin sheet of processed red meat and tearing it to shreds over a grill.

Rhetoric influences actions

(01/18/11 5:00am)

In yesterday's column in "The Daily Targum" titled "Left utilizes tragedy for gain," the author misidentifies the focus of accusations toward certain Republican and Conservative talking heads. Correctly he points out, "Any individual who would take aim at innocent human life does not bare even the slightest resemblance to a Conservative or Libertarian." However, not every deranged person acts impulsively –– some are influenced by the atmosphere and rhetoric around them, taking literally the well-meaning or vitriolic speech they hear regarding political leaders. They may not "resemble" the people they see on television or listen to on the radio, but there can be no denying these figures' influence on the public opinion and therefore possible influence on those mentally ill and easily susceptible to hateful speech.

Surveillance blimp infringes on privacy

(01/17/11 5:00am)

If you have ever seen any of the comics in the Batman franchise, you may have noticed the Gotham City Police Department is a big fan of using blimps to patrol the streets. Perhaps Mayor Matthew Godfrey of Ogden, Utah is particularly fond of Batman's adventures, because he recently proposed the city start taking cues from Batman's fictional hometown and establish its own surveillance dirigible. The unmanned blimp would use military technology to watch Ogden from the skies, acting as a crime detector and deterrent. Aside from the comic-book-style outlandishness of the idea of a patrol blimp, there are more than a few things wrong with this concept.

Palin rightfully criticized for violent rhetoric

(01/17/11 5:00am)

In a now viral video, Sarah Palin issued last Wednesday her first remarks outside of a perfunctory Facebook note (in which her condolences were "offered") regarding the Tucson shooting. In it, she justifies the incendiary rhetoric that she is so used to sounding, which many have cited as contributing to our toxic political environment. Particularly, she feebly projects from herself the criticism she has been getting from many commentators for her now infamous "Take Back the 20" campaign, doing so with her usual twisted sophistry. She argues that such critics are "manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn." Apparently, the only way we can point out a genuine problem in the political climate today is to keep our silence and pretend that no problem exists.

RUSA Allocations Board needs better guidelines

(01/17/11 5:00am)

Since its inception, the Rutgers University Student Assembly Allocations Board has suffered from restrictive and silly guidelines that encourage spending and deter student organizations from achieving real objectives. The perennial ire of special-events funding and last semester's BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice debacle are only two examples. The following reforms are needed so that allocations can make good use of student fees.

Do not fall for shaming, diversion tactics in debate

(12/12/10 5:00am)

The Daily Targum published a letter, "Sympathize with Israel in conflict with Palestine," on Friday in which a respected University professor was the subject of a shameful ad hominem attack. The author apparently found issue with University Professor of Middle Eastern studies Hamid Abdeljaber's remarks at the Palestinian cultural festival held last Sunday by the University chapter of Palestine Children's Relief Fund. The author's charge that Abdeljaber fails to present both sides is ludicrous and false — something the author should know if he actually attended the event or Abdeljaber's lecture.

Sympathize with Israel in conflict with Palestine

(12/09/10 5:00am)

I have many issues with the University's chapter of Palestine Children's Relief Fund's "A Celebration of Palestinian Heritage & Its Legacy of Resilience" event's presentation on the Palestinian "suffering" on Sunday at the Busch Campus Center. First of all, Professor Hamid Abdeljaber mentioned "the excessive use of force of Israel in Gaza." I find it disturbing because he fails to take into account Israel's suffering. He also failed to mention that Gaza is run by Hamas, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and many other nations.

National security requires strong military presence

(12/09/10 5:00am)

President Barack Obama's administration is contemplating major reductions in the Department of Defense's budget to help cut into the huge deficits incurred by the president and his Washington cronies. They plan on reducing our conventional military forces and increasing special operations units to combat threats from terrorists around the world.

President Obama creates economic uncertainty

(12/08/10 5:00am)

December has begun, and the biggest political debate in the House and Senate is on what to do with the Bush Tax Cuts, which will expire Jan. 1. Let's flashback to the 2008 presidential election to see how ardent President Barack Obama was on ending the tax cuts for the rich, or those who make over $250,000, and implementing a tax break only for the middle and lower classes. Obama argued that tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent should expire, and he along, with the rest of the Democratic party, believe that giving tax cuts to the wealthy does not translate into jobs. They also assert that extensions of the Bush tax cuts would cost $700 billion, similar to the cost of the previous "stimulus" bills. Is it not surprising that the embarrassing Republican sweep in the midterm election has caused to Obama to finally consider the Republican's argument?

Assange, WikiLeaks damage national security

(12/08/10 5:00am)

The New York Times published a set of leaked documents in 1971 chronicling the history of American involvement in Vietnam. The documents, known as the Pentagon Papers, revealed how American leaders misled the public in a war that cost the lives of more than 58,000 American soldiers. The government attempted to prevent the publishing of the papers using the grounds of national security but was unsuccessful when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of The New York Times.

Changing alma mater sets wrong precedent

(12/01/10 5:00am)

The Daily Targum reported on Wednesday "the University Senate's Student Affairs Committee is currently reviewing the logistics of changing or replacing the [alma mater]." Altering or retiring Rutgers's alma mater, "On the Banks of the Old Raritan," in order to make it gender-neutral is a silly move, prompted by innocent but misguided political correctness. The questionable lyric that has inspired this controversy is, "My father sent me to old Rutgers, And resolv'd that I should be a man." Not only are women not included in this statement, but it is also argued to exclude those from untraditional family situations. The argument of those against "On the Banks of the Old Raritan" is an alma mater should reflect the demographics of its school's current body. Since Rutgers clearly has female and other students, its alma mater does not reflect its current demographics and is, therefore, lacking.

Faculty should not make rules about class conduct

(12/01/10 5:00am)

I would like to reply to yesterday's editorial, "Professors must make rules against texting." Professors should not make or enforce rules about conduct in the classroom. Of course, when behavior becomes disruptive or rises to the level of actual harassment, then enforcing already existing rules becomes necessary. How can I tell the difference between a student who is foolishly trying to take notes on a cell phone from one who is wasting time by tweeting what he had for breakfast? It is even more difficult if the behavior in question involves a laptop. Many students refer to online notes while I lecture. Unfortunately, others are playing solitaire. It is not my job to force students to pay attention. Not only that, if I tried, I would undermine the educational environment.

Donate wisely, save lives together

(11/29/10 5:00am)

One-year-old Jessica McClure fell into a dry well in Midland, Texas in 1987. As rescuers worked for two and a half days to reach her, CNN broadcasted images of the rescue to millions of viewers around the world. Donors from all over sent in money to help rescue baby Jessica. They sent in so much money that Jessica now has what has been reported to be a million-dollar trust fund. It was obvious to everyone involved that Jessica must be rescued, no matter what the cost. Similarly, we do not abandon lost sailors, or as in recent events in Chile, trapped miners. We think it would be monstrous to let them perish just because it would cost a lot to save them.